Gear and Product Reviews

Impulse CliCs Eyewear

Written by  March 31, 2007

Why is it when motorcycle safety gear is mentioned, 95 percent of the time the topic is helmets? Helmets may or may not be important to you, and of course the legality of going lidless varies from state to state. Gotcha! You might have been expecting a helmet tirade pro or con, but it isn’t going to happen here. Just for the record, I believe those who ride should decide, but, that is a topic for another time.

Helmets are just part of the safety package when motorcycling is concerned. Right up there in my book is quality eyewear. For years I took my vision for granted. Many of you probably share in my guilt when engaging in activities where safety glasses of some kind are called for but not worn. The list of my infractions includes grinding, sanding, weed eating, running a chain saw, and many more. I took my vision for granted until a couple years ago when a distraction caused an eye injury that put the vision in one eye in jeopardy. Basically, I was pulling a parcel shelf out of Stephanie’s car. The shelf didn’t want to budge. I pulled harder, and at the same time, a car passed on our road. As I turned to see who was in the vehicle, the shelf came loose and cut my right eye. I didn’t think it was a big deal until we visited an eye specialist due to my increasing pain. I was given prescriptions for pain and infection and a steroid to keep my eye from swelling. The doctor was concerned I might suffer a detached retina due to swelling. My first thought was one eye equals no depth perception, which would probably mean no more riding. I followed doctors’ orders to the letter and my eye healed with minimal problems.

My wake-up call with my eye leads me to this month’s topic—eyewear. While in the past I have worn only sunglasses while riding, my previously injured eye is sensitive to irritants now. With the amount of rural riding I do, including traveling my own dusty gravel road, I prefer a goggle-type eyewear. On a warm summer evening I see more bugs in a night than many city riders see in a month. If you have ever seen my scooter between washings, you know I am not lying. These hordes of gnats and mosquitos can get around regular sunglasses, and a big juicy June bug or dragonfly smacking you on the cheek sends a nice trail of bug guts straight into your eyes. Anything that gets in your eyes takes your attention off the road and compromises your vision, thus my opinion on the safety value of good eyewear.

I have tried goggles from the cheap $6 rally variety up to the $150 trendy convertible units and have found them all lacking. The gaskets or seals on the eyecups seemed to be fastened with an adhesive only removable by my sweat, meaning after two or three trips the foam was coming off. Other types of seals deformed at higher speeds, actually getting into my eyes. The high-dollar units were too damn flimsy, and their seals deformed over a short period of time. I had resigned myself to replacing the cheapies on a biweekly basis even though they didn’t fit my big head right.

By a stroke of luck while doing a little net browsing, I came upon the site I found eyewear on this site that I thought might be just what I was looking for. I asked around at my day job to see if any of the scooter riders had ever tried the CliCs eyewear. I was surprised to find out that one of my non-riding coworkers had used CliCs for skiing and was sold on them. I contacted David Knowlton at Impulse CliCs and, with his help, ordered a pair of CliCs to suit my needs.

The eyewear was originally designed for snow sport enthusiasts and has made a natural progression into many other sports. CliCs eyewear is unlike anything you have seen before. The lenses separate in the middle and are held together only by a magnet. Yes, that’s right, I said magnet. Okay, not just any magnet, but a neodymium magnet tested to connect the glasses up to 130 mph. By now you are thinking to yourselves, “glasses with lenses connected by a magnet?” Trust me on this. The CliCs were in research and development for 18 months to ensure the concept was feasible. A magnetic closure is just the beginning of the many features of CliCs. The lens frames are connected at the temple to a “T-bar” hinge on a molded headband. The headband provides a telescoping adjustment at each temple for a custom fit. This headband is probably my favorite feature. How many times have you had a pair of sunglasses fall out of your pocket or off your head while bending? They land on their lenses every time, don’t they? With CliCs, you just separate the lenses and let the whole assembly hang around your neck. As I mentioned before, I sweat a lot. With the combination of air intakes and a good quality foam cushion, my eyes breathe and I don’t get condensation on the inside of the lenses. The foam shows no sign of distortion of adhesive breakdown. Since I live close to a river, morning rides are often foggy. Fortunately, I ordered my CliCs with anti-fog lenses, and fog is no longer an issue. I also got a set of clear lenses for night riding that change in about two seconds—no need for two pairs of goggles anymore. As far as the magnet holding at 130 mph, while I didn’t test that speed personally, I can guarantee they don’t budge at 100 mph.

CliCs offers not only goggles, but also reading glasses and sunglasses. You can choose between different frames and lenses to suit your preference. For those of you who require a prescription, that is not a problem; the CliCs frame will accept lenses. The goggles will even fit over some styles of prescription eyewear. Whatever your eyewear need, CliCs has you covered. To see CliCs in action, check out actor Samuel L. Jackson in the movie “Freedomland” or William H. Macy in the hit movie “Wild Hogs.” CliCs are the answer to comfortable and safe motorcycle eyewear for me, and I bet they might be for you. If you need any assistance placing an order please contact David Knowlton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for friendly and knowledgeable guidance.

By Loney Wilcoxson